First MRI transport with Helio Guard

On January 31, 2024, the first transport of an MRI magnet was carried out using the Helio Guard transport system.

The magnet was loaded in Bergamo, near Milan, Italy. As access to the hospital was not possible for a semi-trailer truck with a 40-foot trailer, the magnet was instead lifted out of the hospital by a small truck with a crane and reloaded into the Helio Guard in a nearby parking lot.
The Italian transporters were impressed that the Helio Guard could be loaded from above using a crane. The fact that there was already an operational helium compressor in the vehicle, which was powered by a diesel generator on the vehicle, aroused astonished interest.

Once the magnet and all the other parts of the system had been loaded, the journey with the cooled magnet in the Helio Guard could begin.

It is astonishing that the highway tolls in Italy for a 40-ton truck with 5 axles are practically the same as for a van with a trailer.

After a trouble-free journey to the Brenner Pass, the transport reached a critical phase. Would other truck drivers be disturbed by the loud diesel generator and the “chirping” sound of the cold MRT magnet and complain?
It turned out that nothing of the sort happened. The Helio Guard turned out to be slightly quieter than the usual heat sinks on other trucks. The squealing was practically inaudible outside the Helio Guard, and the diesel was also comparatively quiet due to its clever exhaust routing.

After a stopover in Franconia (at the weekend with a 45-hour break from driving), during which the Helio Guard’s network operation was successfully tested, the transport continued its journey to the warehouse near Wroclaw.
There, too, the Helio Guard was the center of attention. Although similar systems with comparable functions were on display, the advantages of the Helio Guard were noted with great interest.

After the first test of the system, further improvements were implemented to further simplify future transportation with the Helio Guard.
For example, it will be possible to log in to the Helio Guard via the Internet and monitor all relevant measurement parameters of the system.
Various temperature sensors, voltage monitoring, fill level measurements and, above all, the parameters of the solenoid are transmitted live. Any incidents that occur should be detected immediately so that action can be taken in the event of faults.

The economic evaluation of the first trip paints a clear picture.

Originally, transportation of the magnet alone was offered at a price of €2000.
However, during this transportation, the magnet would lose 2 – 3 % helium over 5 days.
With a filling level of 1500 liters, this results in a helium loss of between 150 l and 225 l.
At a helium price of €40 per liter, this means additional costs of between €6000 and €9000.

The total transport on a “normal” truck therefore costs € 8000 under the most favorable conditions.

Although transportation with the Helio Guard system is more expensive in terms of driving (as a rule, you will not be able to transport normal commercial freight and thus have an empty run), the savings in helium will more than compensate for this disadvantage.

Transport with Helio Guard: 6000,- €
Transport with Standard-Truck: 8000,- bis 11000,- €

Savings: 25 % bis 45 %

The advantage of the Helio Guard system becomes even more apparent when transports take longer and lead to areas where things like customs formalities, waiting times on ferries and difficult road conditions make the transport time unpredictable and/or longer.

The Helio Guard system offers a particularly great advantage in countries such as India, where helium is virtually impossible to transport by air freight.
A can of helium that has landed in Madras and is transported overland for three weeks will only contain a fraction of the original helium when it reaches its destination. This is where the Helio Guard system can provide valuable services in the future.

We will be reporting on the first transport with internet monitoring shortly.

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